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Pirates 5, Orioles 3: Tillman looks great, Jones cranks a HR....and let's not talk about Simon

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Another Spring Training game in the books, and the first I was able to follow in real time. Sadly Joe Angel had a death in the family so he wasn't there for the broadcast. My condolences to Joe and his family. Filling in for Joe was Tom Davis and he and Fred Manfra...we'll let's just say that they aren't in midseason form. My favorite part was when Manfra called Zach Duke, "Zuke."

As for the game, it had its ups and downs. 

Pitching

  • Chris Tillman had a great outing, pitching two perfect innings. In the first he retired the side in order on a ground out and and two K's. He added another K in the second and according to Manfra his breaking stuff was hitting the corners like magic. 
  • Mike Gonzalez pitched the second inning and had a little bit of bad luck. The first batter he face hit a pop up on the right side that either Garrett Atkins misplayed or the wind played a trick and carried it away, it's hard to tell. He then induced a foul pop up to the Neil Walker but 2B Blake Davis overran the ball and didn't make the catch. Gonzalez ended up walking him. It continued to be not pretty as he gave up an RBI hit. 
  • The fourth inning was handled by Jim Johnson. He allowed a leadoff "single" to 2B (Blake Davis didn't have a great day) but retired the next three batters. Nice to see JJ with a successful outing. 
  • Jake Arrieta made his first appearance in a ST game and it wasn't too pretty. He walked the leadoff batter, Walker, after running the count full. Walker then stole second and a single put runners on the corners with no outs. Jake struck out the Aki Iwamura for the fist out then walked Jose Tabata to load the bases. An RBI groundout by Jones led to the second out and then Arrieta struck out Ryan Doumit to get out of it. Only one run allowed but not the sort of thing you want to see from him in his first outing. 
  • Chorye Spoone came in to pitch the sixth as he's trying to prove that he's fully recovered from the elbow (shoulder?) surgery he underwent last season. Spoone's pitching was all over the place. He walked the leadoff batter who then moved to 2nd on a ground out. Ronny then lined to RF where Oscar Jeff Salazar made a sliding catch and then doubled up Pearce at 2nd. A great catch by Salazar and some poor base running by the Pirates saved Spoone. 
  • Luis Lebron pitched the 7th inning and from what I could tell he was awesome. He struck out the first two batters and got the third on a pop up. I didn't actually HEAR any of it because those geniuses Fred and Tom decided to spend the entire inning playing a recorded interview with Terry Crowley. 
  • Troy Patton came in to pitch the 8th and got two quick outs on a fly ball and a strike out. Tony Sanchez ruined his day, though, with a home run to CF. Patton allowed a single after that but retired the next batter, Brandon Moss, on a ground out. 
  • Alfredo Simon made his triumphant return to the Orioles in the 9th. He pitched pretty much like the same Alfredo Simon that started the 2009 season in the rotation. After striking out the first batter he allowed three consecutive singles and a sacrifice fly. His two runs allowed gave the Pirates a 5-3 lead and ultimately the win. 
  • Offense 

    The Orioles managed 9 hits off of Zach Duke and the the Pirates relief corps. Here are the highlghts:
    • Luke Scott earned the first RBI for the O's in the second inning. Cleanup hitter (barf) Miguel Tejada doubled to lead off the inning, moved to third on a sac fly by Wieters and scored on a sac fly by Scott. 
    • Leadoff hitter Adam Jones launched an opposite field HR in the third inning to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead. It would be Jonesy's only hit on the day in three at bats. The O's have now homered in all three ST games, a total of 9 times. 
    • The Orioles third and final run came in the 5th inning. Blake Davis led off, hitting the ball to second base but ending up on second himself when the Pirates' 2B threw the ball away. He moved to third on a fly ball by Adam Jones, then scored when the Pirates SS booted a ground ball by Robert Andino. Tejada also reached on an error (this one by the Pirates 3B) but no more runs scored. 
    • Although not involved in any scoring, Garrett Atkins had two hits including a double. Pedro Florimon, Scott Moore, Jonathan Tucker and Miguel Abreu also added singles. The Orioles only took one walk as Rhyne
    •  Hughes worked Ramon Aguero for the BB in his only AB. 
    Kevin Millwood will make the start tomorrow as the Orioles travel to Lakeland to take on the Detroit Tigers. He'll be opposed by Tigers' ace Justin Verlander. No word on what other pitchers will appear although Nolan Reimold, Felix Pie, and Michael Aubrey are all expected to be in the lineup. Reimold will be making  his Grapefruit League debut. Aubrey made his first appearance tonight, pinch hitting for Luke Scott at DH. Pie had to leave yesterday's game when he tweaked his quad but appears to be fine. 

    If you have Gameday on MLB you can listen to tomorrow's game online, or if you happen to live in Detroit you can tune into 97.1 FM and AM 1270. Gametime is 1:05 p.m. 

    Oh, and major props to Vuff who provided inning summaries in the game thread. It's what allowed me to be so thorough in the recap. Huzzah, Vuff!